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E3 2021 Reportedly to Paywall Parts of Digital Show, Rebranding as “Electronic Entertainment Experience” [UPDATE]

E3 2021 Reportedly to Paywall Parts of Digital Show

UPDATE:

The ESA has responded to the initial story that E3 2021 will have some kind of paywall for its digital content, noting the show will remain free for everyone watching.

“E3’s 2021 digital show is a free event for all attendees. We’re excited to fill you in on all the real news for the event very soon,” the company said in a new Tweet.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A new report is making the rounds that E3 2021 will have some parts of the digital show behind a paywall alongside the show rebranding to “Electronic Entertainment Experience” instead of its long-used name Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The new rumor comes from sources (via VGC) that note the newly rebranded show will run for a week starting June 13th, and will feature three days of broadcasted content followed by a consumer-focused experience on the official E3 app. Previously, leaked documents noted the show will likely be digital-only, due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

“E3 has always served as the gaming industry’s uniting force, a moment each year where the best and brightest gather to release the latest announcements and game demos in support of not only their individual objectives, but to evangelize the entire industry,” reads new promo materials sent to publishers.

The documents add that in 2021 E3 is “much more…. Welcome to the Electronic Entertainment EXPERIENCE. International, Inclusive. Innovative, Irresistible and ‘in your hands’ wherever you live. E3 2021 is NOT an in-person event turned virtual.”

E3 has been run by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), who seemingly intend to build the show around multiple keynote events from various partners, all broadcast out from a live stage built in Los Angeles – as well as an awards show, a preview night, and the option for companies to schedule meetings with both media and business partners via their official app.

There’s also reportedly plans for on-demand game demos streamed via the cloud, similar to what Tokyo Game Show 2021 recently announced they’re offering in their second digital-only event. The official app will reportedly feature “virtual booths” where content announced during the show will be shown, as well as merch and game demos.

The new changes to how E3 is presented and how content will be accessible will require the approval of the ESA’s members, which include many of the biggest game developers and publishers in the world. E3 reportedly told VGC that no matter what decision comes of the changes, consumers will be able to access some kind of free experience from the show.

Reportedly, the ESA wants to partner with Nvidia to power the various game demos with their GeForce Now platform, which will allow E3 exhibitors to offer on-demand, playable game demos to the general public or privately to media and business partners alike.

The ESA provided a statement to VGC regarding the paid vs. free access to the show: “We’ve been hard at work to deliver a free experience for everyone interested in E3 2021, and we’re excited to share further details soon.”

Lastly, there are multiple sources noting they are preparing some content for the digital E3 2021 event as support for the ESA, however, they are keeping their big reveals for their own separate, self-hosted digital events like they’ve been holding for a few years now.

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Brandon Orselli

About

Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.




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